About the Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development

Who are we?

Illegal drug crop cultivation, drug trafficking and drug use are global phenomena. The global drug market is considered the largest illicit economy in the world and represents a key challenge internationally. Developing and emerging countries are particularly affected by harmful consequences of the drug problem as they are less resilient to the negative effects of the global drug economy. Worldwide, 275 million people used drugs in 2019, which is 20% more than in 2010. About 18 million people died in the same year from a drug-related cause. In Africa alone, UNODC expects the number of drug users to have increased by 40% in 2030.


The Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development (GPDPD) adopts a holistic approach to address this global challenge. The GPDPD is commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is under the political lead of the Commissioner of the Federal Government for Drug and Addiction Policy. The aim is to work with interested governments and international partner organisations to foster development-centred, as well as health- and human rights-oriented approaches in drug policy and to make this the new international norm. The human being is at the centre of these approaches. By combining rural development strategies with public health protection measures, sustainable solutions to the global drug problem are identified.

The GPDPD activities target several levels

The United Nations (UN) drug control regime defines the way its member states deal with drug policy in a legal and normative manner. The project aims to ensure that development, health- and human rights-oriented positions are embedded in drug policy at UN-level and become the global norm.


The framework for the activities of the GPDPD is provided by:

In addition, the GPDPD also advises interested governments on how to modify their national drug strategies. Along with implementation partners, drug policy approaches are elaborated, evaluated, and implemented. For example, the project supports country measures on alternative development and human rights in drug policy. The project is currently active on three continents.


Finally, the GPDPD is advancing scientific research and innovation in global drug policy. Sound knowledge and evidence are needed to ensure that drug policy is based on robust findings. This is the only way to guarantee that drug policy strategies are drawn up objectively and free of ideological convictions.


Would you like to stay up to date on our activities and positions? Follow us on Twitter under @GPDPD_ and @dev_drugs and LinkedIn GPDPDLinkedIn DDH.

Political lead

The GPDPD is under the political auspices of the Commissioner of the Federal Government for Drug and Addiction Policy. He coordinates the German Government’s policy on narcotic drugs and addiction. In his capacity as political lead, he aligns the work of the GPDPD with the international commitments of the BMZ and the German Government. At home and abroad, he is committed to a holistic drug policy approach. Germany’s drug policy builds on four complementary pillars: (i) prevention of drug use, (ii) counselling and treatment of drug users, (iii) harm reduction and (iv) prosecution.


The design of a sustainable strategy for addressing the global drug problem within the consensus-based UN framework requires intensive cooperation between governments and international organisations. Therefore, the GPDPD works closely with a number of different partners.


The GPDPD cooperates with governments whose drug policies pursue a similar agenda to that of the German Government. Such pre-consultation and coordination can ensure that joint positions are represented more effectively in international dialogue forums. International cooperation also makes it significantly easier to carry out pilot projects. The GPDPD is currently working through various formats with the governments of the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Switzerland and Thailand. Furthermore, the project cooperates with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at global and country level.


Cooperation with international civil society is an essential part of the GPDPD. It cooperates closely with leading non-governmental organisations in various areas of global drug policy. Civil society partners include:

Mae Fah Luang Foundation (MFLF)
Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIB)
International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
Transnational Institute (TNI)
Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC)
International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy at the University of Essex
Harm Reduction International (HRI)
Universidad de los Andes


Would you like to stay up to date on our activities? Follow us on Twitter under @GPDPD_ and @dev_drugs and LinkedIn GPDPDLinkedIn DDH.


If you are interested or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please send your inquiry to: gpdpd@giz.de